The prospect of searching for a new job when you are on the wrong side of 40 can seem pretty daunting. But while it may be more difficult in some cases for an older person to find suitable opportunities, more often than not, it’s the fear that holds him/her back.
Get rid of the inner fear: Unfortunately, a lot of people over 40 live in fear of not being ‘in the league’ anymore. Look at the strengths you bring to the table. What you forget is that you have maturity and level-headedness on your side, apart from your qualifications and the experience. Know and believe that you have what it takes to succeed in a new job.
Catch up with the latest in the industry: Continuous learning and openness to new ways of doing the same work is the key that ensures your employability irrespective of your age. One of the biggest barriers older and experienced workforce face while switching jobs is not being in tune with the latest technologies. There is a perception that middle-aged workers are less on top of new developments in technology and not as flexible to learn about it. In a world that is being flooded by new media and technology, it is imperative for the older workforce to be flexible and adopt some of the new technologies.
Be ready to change: Change is inevitable and after almost two decades of experience, work processes must have gone numerous changes. People should be open to embracing cultural and attitudinal changes in the workplace. You might also have to undergo a change in your physical appearance – get trendy, get fit and get agile. Be open to being led by someone younger, s/he might be a source of new learnings for you.
Harness the potential of networking: Most seasoned professionals often underestimate the power and strength of their network and professional relationships they have built over time. Professionals in their 40s should milk their network and utilise every possible connection to explore opportunities and new age platforms such as LinkedIn have made this easier than ever. Whether it is reconnecting with a past co-worker, getting introduced to someone relevant in your extended network or reaching out to someone totally beyond your network for an informational meeting.
Know your worth: Experienced professionals often short-sell themselves knowing that they are competing with a younger pool of candidates for the desired job. However, what they forget is that the biggest advantage they have over younger workers is their experience. It’s imperative for seasoned professionals to demonstrate the strength of their experience, the value they bring to the table, the valuable lessons they have learned and new skills they have gained. They must showcase the difference their experience can make in identifying and handling challenging situations that an employer might be facing and how they are better at doing so.